Removing the Attachment to Fame
(Minghui.org) I am a 24-year-old practitioner who obtained the Fa in 2008. Currently my attachment to fame remains one of my fundamental attachments, although it has greatly decreased in recent years.
I realized that the pursuit of fame is an attachment acquired in human society. Whenever I encountered problems, my feelings of being hampered and fear of failure and recrimination surfaced. All this is due to my attachment to fame. I am currently in the process of overcoming this tribulation.
For example, last year I was invited to participate in translation work. I felt conflicted. I had just enlightened to the true meaning of cultivation; then I received the offer. However, I did not want to shoulder this burden because I had not cultivated very steadfastly. Like “an average person who hears the Dao” (“Lecture Nine” in Zhuan Falun), I considered problems in the same way.
I strove to surpass myself and strengthen my determination as a practitioner. Despite my many concerns, I accepted the offer. The conflict I faced at that time was wondering how to balance well cultivation practice with my everyday life. Because I viewed these two roles as mutually exclusive, I was also not able to differentiate the “real me” from the “false me.” In short, although I thought I was cultivating, I was actually not.
Afterwards, I came to understand that, just like a person's body and mind are one, cultivation and everyday life are one and the same. With the removal of this attachment, these two worlds will naturally and harmoniously merge together. I should find the "real me" and return to my true origin.
To cultivate, I will have to remove this fundamental attachment to fame. This attachment, which causes me worry, will have to be removed. When uncertain situations instill fear in me, I do not reflect or face them, using “I'm still cultivating” as an excuse to avoid doing so, and using “I want to adhere to the conditions of an ordinary person" as my reason to remain an ordinary person. All these are excuses to escape cultivation practice.
When I understood that cultivation involved “losing,” my attachments gradually fell away. I have slowly started doing well in Fa validation work, and Dafa is becoming an integral part of my life. I am also able to clarify the truth better. All these changes came very naturally, because removal of even a single layer of attachment removes this hindering substance, and I realized that I have the ability to overcome any tribulation.
This has been the case ever since I first started cultivation practice. For example, even when I realized that I should do the exercises outdoors, I was afraid of doing so because of my strong attachment to reputation. I felt then that this was not possible. Today I understand that this was caused by my attachment.
In the middle of this year when I was invited to participate in the Italian Epoch Times , the same feelings of fear and attachment to fame arose. I felt unsettled and did not want to accept it. I knew that this was all caused by my attachments and that I should take on this job. But I feared being unable to lead “my own life” and feared I would not have enough time to do “my own things.”
Simply put, I wanted my cultivation practice to accommodate my attachments. This was not real cultivation, as I considered cultivation to be a separate issue from that of everyday life. I feared the stigma of being viewed as odd in the eyes of others, that I would not be able to save sentient beings as a result, and damage the reputation of Dafa. All these thoughts occurred because my righteous thoughts were not strong.
I kept reminding myself that cultivation and my daily life are one and the same. Only within normal human society can I cultivate. Because I want to cultivate, I should not only comply with the norms of human society, but also that of cultivation practice. I accepted this job with a clearer understanding of what I need to do. These are just some examples, based on my experiences in cultivating away the attachment to fame.
Looking back over this year, if these tribulations had appeared during my initial stage of cultivation, I believe I would have left Dafa. I think I would not have been able to assimilate all of this. Merciful Master arranged these tribulations to occur according to my level of understanding, allowing me to elevate in levels. I know my rate of elevation is still too slow and that I should study the Fa more and be more diligent.
I have another attachment: to seeking a comfortable life, which is related to my attachment to fame and maintaining the “false me.” When I compare myself before cultivation and now, the changes are drastic and still occurring. I know that without Dafa and its high level principles to guide me, I definitely would have degenerated along with the rest of human society. Every time I feel like doing Fa rectification work, this postnatal side of me uses thought karma in an effort to stop me from validating the Fa and saving sentient beings. But now I am able to identify them clearly and steadfastly do what I am supposed to.
I know I have these attachments that are hard to remove, and this troubles me. However, the more troubled I am, the worse the situation will become, because if I cannot stop worrying over these attachments, the harder it will be for me to let go of them.
For a period of time, I experienced a string of setbacks in my ordinary life. My interpersonal relationships were troubled and my work and studies were not going well. All these occurred because my cultivation state was reflected in my everyday life. Now such situations are happening less and less. I understand from this that the stronger the attachment, the less opposition it faces from me, and the easier it is for the attachment to root itself into my everyday life.
The stronger my fear about reputation is, the more tribulations I face in this area. I was very shy as a child and was frequently bullied and insulted. Sometimes I was even beaten up. I think the youth of today are the same, easily provoked for no reason to beat up others. Now I understand that my shyness is also a result of my attachment to reputation, and I suffered a lot because of this. But I know that as a result, I received the opportunity to obtain the Fa and follow Master.
The stronger my attachments, the more tribulations I encounter in this area. I have understood that one cannot harbor these attachments, and when they cause emotional agony, it is time for me to remove them.
Recently, I also encountered a tribulation in the area of relationship. My girlfriend broke up with me after several years. Because I did not cultivate well, I did not adhere to the Fa's requirements. I lacked compassion and was very attached to this relationship. Now that I am able to view this situation from a different angle, I believe that perhaps this was arranged to help me eliminate my attachments to emotions and seeking a blissful life.
Why should I feel pain over this? Didn't this person walk into my life so that I would have the chance to save her? I have done all I could, why should I not be happy? My girlfriend did not intend to marry, and I believe this was deliberately arranged. Now she knows about Dafa and understands the truth. After considering all this, my demeanor became kinder and calmer, and my attachment to the relationship with my girlfriend became weaker.
With the understanding that I must show her compassion, I was able to treat her as a good friend. As a result, she voluntarily asked to join me at exercise practice, and we completed the five exercises with the other practitioners at the exercise site. My parents also visited the exercise site. Although my father was content to observe from the side, my mother did the fifth exercise. A friend of my mother's also expressed an interest in participating. I understand from this experience that my condition as a cultivator has a direct influence on my effectiveness in saving sentient beings. The better my cultivation, the more sentient beings I can save. Some might even be predestined to enter cultivation.
I learned how to “search inward.” Every time I eliminated an attachment, peace flooded my inner being. When I used Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to guide me, I did not feel lonely. All that I have “lost” has been transformed into “gains,” and everything within my environment is good, exactly as Master planned. I am no longer afraid of “losing,” and I have been given the chance to build my world anew. I now do well the three things and no longer need to affirm myself. I no longer fear losing face, and everything in my life is natural.
I know that Master has extended the time for Fa rectification in order for us to cultivate. I know that I should be doing so much more, saving more people and cultivating much better. I know that I should be more diligent and stop worrying about the time left.
This experience sharing article contains a portion of my journey to eliminate my fundamental attachments. It was also written for me to organize and clear my thoughts. My understanding is limited, so please kindly point out any mistakes.